IRVING The Dallas Cowboys are eying Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon with the 27th overall pick in the 2015 NFL Draft as a possible replacement for the departed DeMarco Murray.
He was one of six backs the Cowboys brought in for pre-draft visits last week, including Georgia’s Todd Gurley, Indiana’s Tevin Coleman, Alabama’s T. J. Yeldon, USC’s Javorius Allen and Boise State’s Jay Ajayi.
The NFL Draft is April 30-May 2 at Auditorium Theatre of Roosevelt University in Chicago.
Gordon has his own dreams of dotting the “I” in the Cowboys backfield and running behind the NFL’s best offensive line that includes Pro Bowl center Travis Frederick, his former teammate at Wisconsin.
“It would be sweet to run behind that line,” said Gordon in recapping his visit with the Cowboys. “That line is strong and smart. I saw Travis on my visit. It would be great. But I’m just excited to see where my next family is going to be.”
In what is a deep draft for running backs, he and Gurley are considered the only first-round options.
Gordon came to Dallas last week after visiting the Jacksonville Jaguars. He has also visited the Baltimore Ravens and has plans to visit the Miami Dolphins April 22.
All three teams pick in front of the Cowboys and he could be long gone before they draft at 27th.
“I was there for two days,” Gordon said. “I met the coaches. I met with Jerry Jones. They said they were high on taking a running back. They said they liked that I was a playmaker.”
Gordon said he spent time in the film room with running backs coach Gary Brown. They broke down his tape and also watched tape of Murray from last year.
Gordon led the nation with 2,587 yards rushing yards last year and he also broke former TCU star LaDainian Tomlinson’s single-game NCAA record with 408 yards in a memorable performance against Nebraska last year.
The only concerns about Gordon’s game are his ability to catch passes out of the back field and block in the passing game and his toughness.
“They showed me the route tree when I was in Dallas,” Gordon said. “I got a couple of opportunities in college. But that’s something I can do. I caught the ball well my Pro Day.”
Gordon acknowledges the questions about whether he can be physical and get the tough yards, which was Murray’s specialty last year. At 6-foot-1, 215 pounds, he was more a game-breaking threat than a pounder in college.
“I feel I get the tough yards. It’s something I have to prove and show them on the next level,” Gordon said.
Gordon is focused on proving he is the best back in the 2015 draft. He has gotten to know the other backs on the draft circuit. He roomed with Allen during his stay in Dallas.
All have struck of friendship. But there is no question they are competing against each other to see who goes first and to see who has the best career.
“We are cool,” Gordon said. “I’m competing against every running back in this class. I want to showcase I am the best back in this class. I’m not nervous now, but I know I will be nervous on draft day.”
Clarence E. Hill Jr., 817-390-7760